Holland Lake Park
Holland Lake Park earned the Lone Star Legacy Park Award by the Texas Recreation and Park Society in March 2019 as a park that holds special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas. Each year, the Texas Recreation and Park Society (TRAPS) recognizes parks that have endured the test of time and have become iconic to those who have visited, played and relaxed on their grounds. Holland Lake Park has received this designation and has become one of only 44 parks in the state to be listed as a Lone Star Legacy Park, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a park.
It all began over a century ago when a community-minded civic leader, Mr. G. A. Holland, created a park around a swimming hole with a bathhouse and nature trails which originally covered 45 acres in property. Mr. Holland operated this park privately for public use from 1903 – 1935. After it was purchased by the City of Weatherford and Parker County in 1935, WPA (Works Progress Administration) was procured to build some much-needed improvements. Six limestone cottages just east of the lake were erected and a stone-lined canal built to channel runoff water around the lake created a unique look among most Texas parks. Through his tireless efforts, Mr. Holland rescued a pair of Parker County log cabins and moved them into the park. By joining them together under one roof, he created a mini-museum where local history could be preserved and appreciated. A state historical marker was placed before the cabins in 1936.
Holland Lake Park was operated by City and the County until WWII. Because of the challenging time, it became an unused, almost abandoned piece of property. The park grew up in brush and briars and erosion. When FM 2552 (Santa Fe Drive) was built, the County agreed to deed its part of the park to the City, who in return, would furnish a right-of-way for a needed connect to Interstate 20. After that, Holland Lake Park consists of three parts which include: 16 acres on the northwest with a 1.2-acre lake; 12 acres east of the lake with six stone cottages built by WPA (Works Progress Administration, a federal program in mid-1900s) later used by the Girl Scouts as a campground, and 9 acres in the south used for nature trails and exploring.
Holland Lake Park was reclaimed in the early 70’s through the efforts of the Weatherford Garden Club, volunteers, state agencies, scouts, National Guard, and individual volunteers working together to clear brush, remove fences and dead trees. Fort Hood soldiers came out to assist in log cutting and general clean-up. The Weatherford Garden Club, City staff, Lions Club, local Student Council, FFA, 20th Century Club, and local banks all worked together to refurbish the area around the lake, old bath house, double log cabins, camp ground, and the nature trail. Holland Lake Park won first place in the National Environment Improvement Program contest for 1971-1973 sponsored by the National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc., and Sears Roebuck and Company. Additionally, through the efforts of the Weatherford Garden Club, a Blue Star Memorial Marker was place on FM 2552 (Santa Fe Drive) in 1973.
From 2006 to 2008, the purchase of 15 acres added to the growth of the park creating a three-plex softball field complex. Additional construction in the park to reroute the water flow, remove the canal channel and create a new dam between the lower lake and upper pond (wetlands) with an overflow spillway and large bridge spanning over it greatly enhanced the park property. The “pass through” roadway was eliminated with an improved surface to reduce traffic and add to the safety within the park. The old restroom building over the canal channel was removed and new restrooms were built in conjunction with a stone pavilion. Large user groups can be accommodated at the pavilion with convenient restroom facilities. Picnic tables placed suitably around the lake can be chosen for smaller family style gatherings. All these amenities establish a leisure feel for moments of relaxation among a natural setting.
Located two miles from the center of Weatherford, Holland Lake Park offers the most valuable treasure one can find, its natural environment. The nature trails wind through beautifully rich woodlands to an area where a cottonwood tree ages for more than 150 years in the undeveloped part of the park while visitors enjoy the developed hike and bike trail which transverses through Holland Lake Park as one of the four trail heads in the area. To get a great view of mother nature without having to leave the city, the Town Creek Hike and Bike Trail that is nestled in the tree line and flood plain of Town Creek offers many hikers and bikers an opportunity to exercise while moving along the trail through Holland Lake Park.
Holland Lake Park is the most visited park in Weatherford to date. Holland Lake Park is full of activities for everyone. Playground amenities are to be enjoyed by everyone. Always known as a well-stocked lake, it is the location of fishing events, one in the Spring for youth and a series of stocking events for everyone that wishes to catch trout in the Winter. Aeration fountains inside Holland Lake keep the water moving and the fish biting so the lake is fresh and clean. Opened to the public in 2009, the Holland Lake Ball Field Complex has many adult softball league games enjoyed by spectators and participants alike, along with weekend baseball tournaments for youth special teams throughout the year on three well maintained fields. Many sponsored special events such as: Veterans 5K Run, Walk to End Alzheimer's, Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt, Senior Center Walk, Juneteenth Celebration, Hot Dog Trot for Animals, Hike for Life, Out of the Dark Walk and other special opportunities such as video shoots and Movies in the Park program can be experienced within the park property. Camp Holland, a scout camp renovated in 2011, is a place for non-profit organizations such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts that can get outdoor education. Camp Holland has given nature a front row seat with upgrades the camp structures (cabins, restrooms, and dining hall) in 2011 to the area by the local boy scout groups and City of Weatherford, Parks & Recreation Department.
Holland Lake Park is a stellar park, full of rich history and community involvement. This park is a living symbol of the community working together to preserve history and build recreational opportunities in a natural environment as an asset to all generations. Holland Lake Park, our very own Lone Star Legacy Park.